Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

February 2012 Chemo

Options
13567171

Comments

  • DonnaDS
    DonnaDS Member Posts: 23
    Options

    Have been reading and studying since I was told it was chemo for me.  First of 4 T/C tomorrow first thing.  More than a little nervous but thanks to all I'm as prepared as anyone could hope to be. These boards have turned my panic to peace.  I do have a couple of questions if anyone knows:  Am I the only one to have side effects from the pre-tx steroids?  I have a terrible headache and feel kind of nauseated.  Maybe I'm projecting tomorrow?  Guess I could take a Ativan.

  • rachelvk
    rachelvk Member Posts: 564
    Options

    JudyP - Good to hear your first tx went well, and that your husband was such a good help. Being prepared with a chemo bag, food and company makes a huge difference. My mom and BF came to my first one, and afterwards, I dragged my mom to a martini get-together that I had expected to miss but felt fine. It does get harder, but so much of this is an attitude thing, so enjoy it when you have the opportunties.

    Ali - I'm glad the cold caps are working for you. They sound great if you're up for them.

    mom2JJ - you may feel out of shape compared to what you were like before, but the good news is you're still coming into this way ahead of the game and that will help you get through this and recover. Hopefully you'll be able to get some exercise in shortly - I was encouraged to walk almost immediately after my bmx. Are you doing PT? Other than physical limitations from your surgery, hopefully you'll find some way, either walking, or exercise bike, to keep up your energy. I've heard it helps lessen some of the SEs if you can stay active. I was feeling lousy this morning but managed a 15 minute walk, and it made such a difference. Good luck!

    Neli - You'll find the strength to get through this, really! Just keeping looking at the goal posts. We're here for you when you need help, support, or just need to vent.

    And a general hello to everyone else who's joined in. 

    I'm recovering from tx#3, and this one definitely whacked me harder than in the past. Mostly aches and sluggishness. I had to throw all my anti-nausea meds at it, but they worked, so I'm not complaining too loudly. You'll all find your own schedule - some get hit hardest on Day 2, others on Day 4. I guess I'm somewhere between Day 3 and 4. Once you get a sense of this, you'll be able to plan accordingly - give yourself the chance to get lots of rest, and hydrate in the days leading up to and after. One addendum on the chemo bag - I put one together that I keep with me at work, including hand sanitizer, eye drops, all my meds, lotion, zinc cough drops, ginger chews (helps relieve nausea), gloves (we all share the computers at work - ugh!), sanitary pads (expect the unexpected). It's sort of like my security blanket...

    Time to get a little more rest. Sending warm thoughts to everyone who starts this week. 

  • Gayle56
    Gayle56 Member Posts: 111
    Options

    Rachelvk   Sorry to hear that #3 was difficult.  Hopefully it will pass quickly.

     DonnaDS  Good luck  tomorrow.  I didn't get any steroids in advance.  They gave them to me during the infusion. 

  • DonnaDS
    DonnaDS Member Posts: 23
    Options

    Gayle,  Thanks for your encouragement.  My hair is cut short, so are my nails.  Chemo bag is ready.  So I guess its almost time for the adventure to begin.  Hope your SE are better tomorrow.  You are about 2 weeks ahead of me so I will be following your progress.

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,938
    Options

    Well, saw my MO today, and I am back on track to start chemo possibly next week. I finish the yantibiotics on Saturday, and they are trying to get my port in on Tuesday if my ND can sqeexe me inI just want the wait to be over. JudyP, sounds like we are on the same tx, I will be following you closely, just letting you know, not stalking you! LOL. Mthrdee, I am with you on the doing it so I don't regret NOT doing it. But I want to get started, my bmx was Dec 8and it seems so long ago. I have to keep reminding myself that my left side is 4weeks behind my right side. And to ne patient with myself. My MO says heal first, then treat. So he also says cause this is more for prevention , that I cam take more time if needed without scaring myself. He makes it sound so easy. Thx to all for the support here.

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,938
    Options

    Darn auto correct, that is not ND but PS, LOL

  • jennywong88
    jennywong88 Member Posts: 2
    Options

    Hi Grace,

    I stay in Malaysia. Peace to you. 

  • JudyP
    JudyP Member Posts: 35
    Options

    Well, sleeping was not that great last night.  Not sure if it is nerves, SE, or both.  I was hot then cold all night.  I think it could be the steroids.  I'll ask when I go for my neulasta shot today. Every time I woke and moved my husband asked me "Are you ok? what's wrong?" So I had to answer questions too.  What a sweetie, but I could be moving to the guest room if this continues! Ha-ha!

    It's 5:30 am and I'm drinking water, making coffee, ate 2 saltines.  I'm feeling pretty jitterey already so the coffee may be replaced with some decaf tea....  Also, things taste very flat.  The saltines did not taste salty (I even checked the box to see if I bought unsalted by mistake).  I guess I didn't expect to have that happen so soon.

    Moonflwr912 stalk away!  I'm nervous about all of this, but I am not afraid.  I don't think I would be doing chemo at all if I were not so lucky as to be Her2+++.  This was a game changer for me.  My cancer was small and early.  I decided to have the BMX because the MRI showed atypia cells in my other breast as well. My breast surgeon, who I really like, wanted me to have lumpectomies on both breasts.  I went back and forth, but finally decided that I did not want to be worrying every time I had a lump or mammo, sono, mri, etc.  Plus I'm 54, not having any more kids to breastfeed, and the boobs were not what they used to be! ha-ha  After the surgery and pathology, my breast surgeon said that I made the absolute right decision because the non-cancer breast was a "time-bomb"(her words)  I would have had to go through this eventually anyways.  So here I am.

    As I'm typing, the jitters are subsiding, so maybe a bit dehydrated and needed some food, Off to make some oatmeal and try a cup of coffee.  I hear my 15yo daughter in the shower getting ready for school.

    Judy

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
    Options

    I am heading to a liver biopsy this morning, another Mri tomorrow, and finally start chemo on Thursday. I am praying that this is a false alarm rather than mets and that all I have is breast cancer. This has been hell.

  • Gayle56
    Gayle56 Member Posts: 111
    Options

    DonnaDS  This is week 3 and I actually feel really good - it has gone just as my MO predicted - first week not so great, 2nd week better, and 3rd week feeling good. 

    Gritgirl - I will be praying for you today

  • Gayle56
    Gayle56 Member Posts: 111
    Options

    JudyP - the night after my first tx I couldn't sleep except for an hour here and there.  It is probably the steroids.

  • faithhopenluv
    faithhopenluv Member Posts: 154
    Options

    good luck gritgirl - thinking of you!!

     DonnaDS - you will be 1/4 of the way through after today.  That has to sound good!

  • Mom2JJ
    Mom2JJ Member Posts: 38
    Options

    I am giving the cold cap a try as long as they arrive by tomorrow as planned (chemo is on Thursday). I am concerned about the cold. DH thinks that I won't be able to tolerate the cold because I am always cold.

  • Mom2JJ
    Mom2JJ Member Posts: 38
    Options

    I would appreciate any advice about the cold caps. Also, how do you private message?

  • Hildy910
    Hildy910 Member Posts: 227
    Options

     
    Well, that could certainly have been worse. I had my blood taken and an IV put in (no port, they think my veins are good and will take 8 treatments. We shall see.) I didn't have a Xanax, now I feel a bit left out! ;)  
    The nurses are all very nice and the chair was both heated and reclined!  I got to infusion just in time for the lunch tray to go by, so I got a nice veggie wrap and cookies and water.  Poor husband had to fend for himself.
    So I got three antinausea meds first: Amend and Aloxi via IV, which last for several days, and the Decadron, whiich is a steroid, and which I will continue to take at home.
    Then the Adriamycin, which is a push med and which takes about 15 minutes as the nurse sits there gradually pushing it in. (Oh, and it makes your pee red.)  No discomfort other than the vein feeling cold.  Next was Cytoxan, which takes about an hour to drip in. Massage chair was wonderful.
    Then home we went; I felt good enough to go for a walk, which really does help, and ate a small  dinner. And drank, drank, drank, the water.  From about 6-8 I definitely felt funky. Lightheadedness, sinus headache, and waves of mild to moderate nausea. I swear I could feel my  hair follicles on my head tingling.  So I just took my Ativan as instructed and went to bed when my kids did. 
    Today I still have a slight headache and not nausea per se--it's more of a tummy awareness if that makes any sense.  But I did walk two miles for my coffee, and again that helped.
    Heading in today for the Neulasta shot, and I think I'll ask about if something can be put in the mix next time to avoid the headache part.  I think I remember reading that's a Cytoxan side effect. 
    My back story is that I had a single mastectomy Dec 19th with axillary node dissection. Recovered quickly from that--chemo was somewhat of a grey area, but the one setinal node postivie combined with lots of lymphovascular invastion pushed us to chemo. I'm 49 and have two kids, so want to be as aggressive as possible. I was moping about the hair thing until my daughter had her hair cut to sent to the Hats with hair place to make an underhair, at which time I shut up in shame.
    Still thinking of removing the other breast--I, too, feel as though it's a time bomb of sorts.....
      Gritgirl, good luck with the biopsy! JudyP, hope your day goes well...we are on the same cycle although not the same regimen....
  • ali68
    ali68 Member Posts: 644
    Options

    Mom2JJ, this is great, have you been on cold cap users past and present asked Sebm9 to e-mail you information. She is great I would send it to you but I can't find it. Mine is different as I use a machine. She has put on how to wash and care for your hair after first chemo so look at that. The cold, yes it is a bit but not for long. Have you got any beany bags the ones you heat up in a microwave? Get one for your neck and anther for your arm. How to send a p message? Click on your pic or someone else and it will show you .

  • lumpynme
    lumpynme Member Posts: 497
    Options

    today was back to MO--i now feel like we are starting to move forward.

    they were able to move my CT scans up to this week if i'm willing to drive to a diff facility (about 20 miles away) so i do that 9:15 in the morning this thursday; then to the hospital (in my city) for 1pm MUGA same day. I still have my mammo (mine was done in michigan in november) on tuesday next week- wednesday i go for "teaching" then thursday next week i see a new PCP to get established..plan is to start tx on monday the 13th.

    Have NO CLUE yet what meds he is planning and my question is about herceptin--i am HER2 neg so by what i have read i shouldn't need to take it? he ordered the MUGA to determine what my heart can stand....

    we discussed port and i said that i would truly prefer PICC line -i donated blood plasma 2X weekly for almost a year and my veins were good for that so i think he is willing to try it with me. i need to work on hydrating!

    he did say that my iron was bordering low which i/we expected due to my gastric bypass almost 8 years ago. i'll probly get IV iron which i understand is painful...

    he also discussed neulasta.

    so ! we are moving forward.....

  • JudyP
    JudyP Member Posts: 35
    Options

    Got my neulasta shot.  Nurse said that my jitters and sleeplessness were from steroids and should subside as I don't take them after today.  She said to expect some aches & pains, headache(flu-like) from the Neulasta and to take Tylenol, Advil, Aleve,  etc. tonight so I don't wake up with pain.  Sounds like fun!  However, the nurse that took care of me yesterday with my chemo infusion said that I could take Vicodin or Percoset for any pain.  I'm thinking of doing that tonight so that maybe I can sleep.

    I still feel buzzed up from the steroids, so I went to the grocery store, vaccuumed, and may go for a walk. Figure I should get somethings done in case I crash tomorrow.

    Judy

    Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin every 3 weeks for 6 treatments, then Herceptin for 1 year.

    One down, 5 more to go!!

  • faithhopenluv
    faithhopenluv Member Posts: 154
    Options

    JudyP, the word is Claritin helps ALOT with the bone pain from the neulasta shot.  My occ nurse said that Advil/Aleve should be ok, but I bought Claritin just in case.  That might be something in between Percoset/Vicodin if you have pain during the day that Advil isnt touching

  • JudyP
    JudyP Member Posts: 35
    Options

    Thanks, faithhopenluv.

     I wasn't planning on taking percoset except to help me sleep.  If Tylenol or Advil doesn't help, I'll give the Claritan a try!  Maybe I won't need any of it...hoping!

    Judy

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,938
    Options

    Thanks for filling us in JudyP- I am probably going to start next week, if they can gert my port in by Tuesday.  Lumpynme- I hope the picc line works for you, I fount it irritating, and uncomfortable- when they took it out, my skin ripped off due to my reaction to the adhesive- I have a square scab where it was.  LOL.  I can't imagine having one in longer- mine wasnt in even a week.But as we constantly repeat on ALL the boards, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.  Thank God!  LOL.

    Gritgirl, I am praying and thinking about you.

  • Laura5
    Laura5 Member Posts: 419
    Options
    Mom2JJ, As Ali68 said, sebm9 (Cold Cap Users Past and Present topic) has a write up on using cold caps which she will email you if you send her a private message. A lot of the ladies used an electric blanket, but I just used the warm blankets they had a the chemo center. The caps are only really cold for a few minutes. The chemo drugs are what really make you cold. The caps really do work, I would use them again in a heartbeat, but sure hope I never need to.
  • mthrdee
    mthrdee Member Posts: 68
    Options

    Ladies - strange question and while it doesn't really hurt it is driving me nuts.......what a suprise, yet another item in the cancer world that makes me crazy LOL!!! Ok, so I had the double lumpectomy in December, after the surgery the right side was numb under the armpit and while a little annoying no big deal.  Now it is almost 6 weeks later and under the left armpit, around left incisions and also down to my elbow sometimes is numb and feels like an itchy sensation that I can't itch.  Okay strangest part, it really starts to act up after 6pm.

    I;m sorry if I sound whiny but its making me crazy.  I have to put the softest top on in the evenings and I can't wait to rip off this damn bra for relief.  Its not painful so I don't take anything for it.  A hot bath helps, but mostly while I'm in the tub.'

    Any suggestions??? Lord I haven't even started chemo and I'm complaining.  

    Chemo questions - is there anyone here who is not using a port.  My MO said that she felt I would be ok with the veins as it is only 4 treatments.  Anyone else trying this way?? 

    Hildy and Judy.....thinking of you both and praying the SEs are minimal

    Gritgirl - In my thoughts today, hope all goes well!!

  • Laura5
    Laura5 Member Posts: 419
    Options

    mthrdee, I did not get a port, it was the last thing I wanted. I had 6 treatments (TCH) and continuing with the H for several more. My veins are doing fine.

  • mthrdee
    mthrdee Member Posts: 68
    Options

    Thanks Laura - then I will stick with the veins and hope for the best.

    Okay more whining.....I just feel like crap today, this itching and numbness is making me crazy and now it feels like the underneath of my left breast is pulling.  I am tired of walking around holding my own damn boob!!!!

    Okay - turning off the whine box and going to try and sleep.  ;0( 

  • DonnaDS
    DonnaDS Member Posts: 23
    Options

    Yeah #1 is done.  No issues.  Had a frozen yogurt on the way home, a cranial massage, and a 3 hour nap.  Took the steroids wrong yesterday so didnt sleep much, Instructions were not written down and memory is a problem.  All nausea meds are on board and trying to think of something good for dinner.  Slight but manageable headache, maybe thats why I cant type and this post has taken 45 minutes to get it done.  Great staff at onc center.

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers.  I feel lucky that you are all here to help me and others on this unanticipated journey. We can do this.

  • faithhopenluv
    faithhopenluv Member Posts: 154
    Options

    Mthrdee - I don't have those exact symptoms, but 6 weeks after my lumpectomy my arm is still just plain creepy. It's still numb in many places and tingles from time to time. I cant bring myself to put deodorant on it, so i use an aresol on that one armpit....cant bring myself to shave (even with an electric razor) because i cant feel it. We were discussing on another thread that if we drink icy water we can feel the cold down our sides. It's all so strange, I'm starting to accept it as normal.

  • doubleaa
    doubleaa Member Posts: 2
    Options

    Hi all!!  I haven't had a chance to read through all the posts (it's 11:30) but wanted to say hi!

    I am having my port put in on Friday and start TC on Feb 8th.  I'll be doing 4 cycles of TC - 1 every 3 weeks. 

    Glad to have found this post.  I 'll read up in the morning and get to know all of you.

    Night!!

  • dltnhm
    dltnhm Member Posts: 420
    Options

    i am trying to keep up with everyone's posts. Today was a busy day with three appointments: 9:30 - PA at reconstruction surgeon (3 week post-op) - all my outside stitches are out! Yay; noon with MO; and 3:45 with resident & primary care doc. Day stretched out down there and we did not get on the road to come home until 6:00 pm this evening. This is a lot like work ;-)

    Gritgirl you have been on my mind - thoughts and lots of prayers for you - I know you are going to get through all of this - just continue to let the Lord know that I want Him to cover you with His peace and give you some relief from all this added stuff that keeps getting thrown your way.

    Hildy 910 & all - our diagnosis is a bit different but our 'cocktail' appears to be the same. I still don't have a start date for that - think we are looking at about week 5 post-op right now. ACT. If I am accepted into the drug trial then I will also receive Herceptin when I receive Taxol but it will be once a week for 12 weeks following the AC (4 times over 8 weeks). And then I will continue on herceptin every 3 weeks for 13 additional doses. That will take me to just over a year once chemo starts to when herceptin ends. Or ... if I am randomized out ... I will just take the Taxol for those 12 weeks and then no herceptin at all.

    Last week when I met with MO to discuss pathology report we decided that I would have a CAT scan and bone scan. Since it seems that each turn we've found something unexpected, to establish a baseline, and to participate in a trial - I would need a chest x-ray or CAT or bone scan anyway ... so this made since. Once again, no one expected to find anything (no one but me - I can seriously laugh about this for me because it has happened all along).

    MO went over those results today with us and the result of the CAT was a suspected hemangioma in my liver. (I had no idea what a hemangioma was Gritgirl until you posted your GroundHog day post last week. So I absolutely hate that you are going through everything you are going through - but wanted you to know that your post and journey gave me a little head's up when that word came up today.) Now here I am with that possibility - the hemangioma ... or the something else (metastisis). So tomorrow afternoon I am going to have an MRI. They also found one calcified granuloma in the lingula and 2 noncalcified nodules on my lungs which leads them to believe that at some time in my past I had some type of infection that left those there. I can actually recall a long bout with coughing in the mid 90's which probably led to those nodules. And as an infant I had some type of respiratory illness - need to ask my mom about that. No one is concerned about those. Oh, and I have a large gallstone. Okay ... who knew? 

    The bone scan seemed to indicate some areas of arthritis - which is something my former primary doc talked about when my van was rearended about 20 months ago. I had xrays taken and that was the only thing he saw - some indication of degenerative arthritis that was 'not serious'.  I am not concerned about my spine and my MO did not order anything else with that ... but my Primary Doc decided to send me downstairs for xrays of my spine just to take a further look. (I swear I am going to radiate all over the place one of these days.)  

    I told the MO that I was fine with her calling me with the results of the MRI one way or the other. At this point we have been bouncing back and forth down there so much and I know what to expect either way: if it's a hemangioma then I can go forward as planned and get in and get the rest of the tests for the trial, set up a port date, and a start date for chemo once my PS signs off on that. If it's positive for metastisis, then EVERYTHING is going to CHANGE before it even begins ... stage IV diagnosis and different chemo cocktail.

    So that's where I am right now ... going to start stocking my chemo bag for this next part of the adventure. Have some exercises that I can already start to do with my arm (a la my reconstruction PA) and am looking forward to PT and getting out and running again in 2-3 weeks' more time. I do miss my runs and come hell or high water, if there's a will, I am going to run while I am having chemo too.

    Hugs to all you fine gals out there who are all walking this road together. I would rather that none of us had cancer, but I am blessed beyond measure to be in your company. We will do this together! Hnag in there.

     Love,

    Diana

  • FLDREAMER
    FLDREAMER Member Posts: 136
    Options

    Hi everyone, I thought I would start chemo in January so I started posting on their forum.  But here i am ready to start tomorrow so I'm really a February gal, I guess.    Now that it's close, I'm scared, nervous and anxious.  I'm definitely not ready to face this part of the journey.

    I haven't read all your posts yet but I will.  

    Anyone else have problems with their families?  I've always been the strong, stoic, I can do anything person.  Very  independent and self sufficient.  I've been alone since 1984 and found if something had to be done, it had to be me.  Now, I find my grown daughters are either determined I can't do anything at all anymore and shouldn't even drive anywhere by myself OR are still demanding and expecting me to be as strong as always and still there for them for whatever they need.  

    My surgery went well.  I've been doing good.  If I tell them I feel good, they expect me to be there for them.  If I say I'm hurting, then they feel I sholdn't go or do anything.  Ugh.  I want to say just leave me alone.  But, I might really need them as I go thru the chemo stuff.  Boundaries need to be set but they are so hard!